Let Loose and WERQ It!

DancingWhat do you get when you mix funky dance moves, plyometrics, and pop and hip-hop music together?

A really fun and challenging workout. Er, make that WERQ-out.

My two left feet and I (see Zumba), recently sampled a free WERQ class at Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids, led by instructor Kate Rehmus from Live.Dance.Move. The class was sponsored by the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Rehmus said WERQ doesn’t stand for anything, it’s more an expression of attitude.

“You can ‘werq’ an outfit, you can ‘werq’ a runway,” she said.

WERQ combines cardio, plyometric moves and popular, upbeat music. Rehmus explained that part of the appeal of the class is that all the songs are from the Billboard Top 100, so participants know the music. For an hour, they can pretend to be a backup dancer for Beyonce.

Participants at a recent free WERQ class at Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids.
Participants at a recent free WERQ class at Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids.

“I think that’s why a lot of people really love it,” she said.

The crowd gathered at Rosa Parks Circle was mostly female, but a few rhythmic men joined in as well. Because it was a dance workout, which isn’t exactly my forte, I was watching Rehmus and others in the crowd for direction. It was really amazing to see how hard some of the more experienced WERQ-ers were going at it. If you can get the moves down, it looks like you could really challenge yourself.

“It is so modifiable for whatever fitness level you’re at,” Rehmus agreed.

My first time was all about just keeping up, but dancing in the early evening sun, definitely made me sweat. Or, maybe I was just nervous about running into someone. Regardless, WERQ got me out on the dance floor, introduced me to some fun and challenging moves, and was a great time!

Rehmus said other first-time WERQ dancers would benefit from checking their inhibitions at the door and adjusting their mindset to just have fun with it.

“Just let go and don’t worry about the steps so much,” she said.

If you’re in Grand Rapids and want to unleash your inner backup dancer with a WERQ class, check out the Live.Dance.Move schedule.

Photo credit: Chris JL

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